China sees 'win-win' for all in revived Silk Road Initiative

15 May, 2017, 09:35 | Author: Brian Mcdaniel
  • Chinese President Xi Jinping opens the Belt and Road Forum in Beijing on Sunday

Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Sri Lankan Premier Ranil Wickramasinge, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan were among the world leaders who attended the high-profile meeting.

Hours before Xi began speaking, North Korea fired a ballistic missile, its seventh such test this year, just days after South Korea elected a president who has vowed to engage with Kim Jong Un's regime.

The United States welcomed efforts by China to promote infrastructure connectivity as part of its Belt and Road initiative and USA companies can offer top value services, White House adviser Matt Pottinger said on Sunday. "We welcome all countries delegations to attend", the Chinese Foreign Ministry said in a statement to Reuters.

China and the European Union are set to hold their own summit in Brussels in early June, during which the Comprehensive Agreement on Investment (CAI) now under negotiation will be a central focus.

Ross Feingold, an Asia-based political risk analyst, said the move was in line with Trump's election promise of creating more jobs for U.S. companies. The opening ceremony of the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation is held in the National Convention Center in Beijing.

In his speech, Xi pledged an additional United States dollars 14.5 billion for the Belt and Road initiative, as well as some USD 55 billion in lending programmes for participating countries.

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Under the "Act East" policy, we are pursuing the Trilateral Highway project; under our "Neighbourhood First" policy we are developing multimodal linkages with Myanmar and Bangladesh; under our "Go West" strategy, we are engaged with Iran on Chabahar Port and with Iran and other partners in Central Asia on International North South Transport Corridor. Unprecedented economic social and cultural benefits will accrue from the CPEC not just for people of Pakistan but also the people of the entire region, he said.

Commenting on the benefits of the projects, he said, One Belt and One Road would take Pakistan's passport to a new level of human development and progress.

Zypries on Sunday called for more transparency in tenders for projects related to the initiative, and insisted that it should conform to global trade standards. "The more China can demonstrate the "Belt and Road Initiative" is open to outside participation in this way, the more it will be embraced by global and even American firms and suppliers".

India has boycotted the forum to indicate its displeasure that part of a planned China-Pakistan corridor will run through the disputed Kashmir region. OBOR is a project that will create a vast network of sea and land routes across dozens of countries where China would reportedly, spend $1 trillion on railways lines, roads, ports and other infrastructure.

Instead, he said, Beijing wants "partnerships of friendship" and a "big family of harmonious coexistence".

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